|"Forget the Rest" blog|
"New START", the proposed CMRR Nuclear Facility and the LASG lawsuit against the DOE and NNSA
Udall is still trying to figure out if official Washington would like to do another Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and has written a letter to that effect to Dr Chu.
Well...I can answer that for him:
no, Washington has made no gestures suggesting a new EIS, especially
if that EIS is to be written before committing to the
facility, as legally it must be. Instead the Obama administration has
been pushing for this monstrosity called CMRR-NF as hard as they
A project that costs 10 times as
much as was projected at the time an EIS was done (2003), is a
different animal all together than before. Currently costs are
projected around 4 billion and going up. Nobody is sure what the
final price tag will be.The way it is designed now it will take as
much as 55 times the concrete that was originally projected and its
foundations will go about twice as deep (125 feet).
One can easily see the necessity of a new EIS by law. One can also easily see why the administration would like not to do one and has proceeded with its project, as if it makes no difference......
What is the political motive behind something so irrational and pompous and out of touch with the crying needs of our time? We have seen a lot of "natural" man-made disasters in the last few years, Katrina, flooding, fires and drought, oil gushers, more fires, landslides, earthquakes, dead zones, etc. etc. and mostly, despite individual heroism, we have been helpless in the face of them. Yet somehow the "nation" is to find comfort in the idea that we can inflict such man-made disasters anywhere in the world at a moments notice by dropping a tennis ball sized nuclear warhead core designed and built at the new 4 billion dollar CMRR-NFbuilding at LANL.
Udall says that the main rational for the CMRR-NF behemoth is to modernize the nuclear weapons production establishment which would be in accordance with the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) published this year. Udall also clarifies the relationship between the signing of the START Treaty and the CMRR-NF. It takes 67 votes to pass a treaty. So that means that one has to cater to the republicans and neocons and cajole them to sign a substantially meaningless new START treaty with Russia. The new START arguably reduces the arsenal (though here opinions are quite mixed....does this treaty really reduce the amounts of deployable warheads?), but at the same time allows the parties to modernize their arsenals. Despite heaped up praise through the Obama propaganda machine, New START is a pretty insignificant step towards a nuclear free world. Less warheads but more destructive (and accurate, etc.). In so many ways a meaningless treaty, also since both sides shortly after the signing of the treaty, made their own conditions for possibly leaving the treaty at some future date of their own choosing.
So the latest rational for support from a senator like Udall is that a CMRR-Nuclear weapons Facilityshould be built, in order to gather votes for the New START disarmament treaty. Are we living in an Orwellian world yet?
Obviously we have a Faustian quid pro quo here...Udall thinks that he can get armament and disarmament, make peace with the peaceniks and build a new Nuclear Facility for new warheads.. As an existentialist I say: that is not serious...
It is correct for the Los Alamos Study Group to call for a new EIS. NEPA rules require the public and government agencies and native tribes alike to be apprised of LANL's vastly expanded plans for a CMRR- Nuclear Facility and its dramatic impact on the environment. Not having done so already is a violation and thanks to the LASG and their legal representation by Santa Fe attorney Thomas M. Hnasko this is coming to light. The public thus far has been largely kept in the dark about the tens of thousands cement trucks that will line the roads, or the disposal problems that come with 400.000 cubic yards of powdered volcanic ash, or the environmental impact of making three hundred and fifty thousand cubic yards of concrete. That last fact in itself --the production of that much concrete -- will emit over a 100.000 metric tons of CO2, which requires analysis of the project as a "Global Warming" source under the most recent guidelines. It is obvious that in so many ways the CMRR-Nuclear Facility is no longer a local issue.
With the lawsuit against the NNSA
and DOE, holding the feet of Dr. Chu and Mr. Obama (and Mr. Udall) to
the fire, the LASG clearly acts in the public's interests -- in the
interest of "good governance'. We hope this lawsuit will
give pause to these plans so all parties can re-consider what is at
can make a good start by supporting this important lawsuit demanding
a halt to the CMRR-NF, a new EIS and accountability of the DOE, LANL
and the NNSA: contribute generously to the Los Alamos Study Group here.